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Online banking utilizes technology that makes your banking more convenient, and efficient by bypassing the downsides of traditional banking, i.e. having to wait in lines, wait for funds to transfer, etc.. 

Additional benefits of banking online...
You can do many things via online banking. A few of the more commonly performed transactions include, viewing your accounts and statements, transferring money, paying bills, viewing and printing images of canceled checks, etc.. Most banks' websites are compatible with money managing software like Microsoft Money and Quicken.

It is also very common for banks to offer consumers the ability of setting up email alerts for notification of when checks clear or for when your account dips below a specific point.

Utilizing online bill payments
More and more business are allowing customers to pay their bills online. Setting this up with your bank is easy. All you need to do is register the bills you would like to pay online with the accounts you want to use for paying them. 

Setting payment schedules
After you have registered all of the accounts that you would like to pay online, you need to set-up a schedule for making payments. If you have a bill like a car loan or mortgage that is the same amount every month, you may want to consider making a recurring scheduled payment. If you have a bill that is for a different amount every month, you will want to remit a payment manually once/month.

Your online payments are going to be received either via an electronic payment of check. Your payment will be automatically debited from your account and electronically deposited into your creditors account when electronic payments are utilized. Your bank will issue a check derived from the directions of your online payment if your creditor does not make use of electronic payments.

The majority of all bill payment sites incorporate a page/s that will list all of your payment activity and status, i.e. processed, pending, scheduled.

Just because you are making payments online does not mean you should not review your paper statements. It is not uncommon for companies to change your account number or their billing address without informing you. There is also always the potential for your account activity to be incorrect.

How secure is online banking?
When you register your online bill payment account, you will need to choose a user name and password. Keep this information secret! Also, make sure that your bank's site is 'secure' by looking for a pad lock at the bottom of your browser. The url of your banking site will need to be https://. The 's' means that the site is secure. If either one of these features are not present, then consider the site to not be secure, do not continue your banking and call your bank for assistance.

It is important to be aware of phishing scams. This occurs when thieves will send you an email pretending to be your bank. They will claim that you personal account information is needed for some specified reason. They will provide you with a link to click on that will take you to a phony site that will look like your bank's. Once your information is compromised, your accounts will be depleted of their funds, and/or you will become a victim of identity theft.

Do not proceed if you ever receive an email like this! Your bank will never communicate with you in this manner. If you are ever suspicious, contact your bank and verify the request.



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